Tuesday: Personal Aspects of the Holy Spirit – Part 2

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A challenge we face in understanding the Holy Spirit is that we can imagine God as a Father in a somewhat tangible way. Many also have a concrete picture of Jesus, as He is described in the Gospels. He took our human nature and appeared to us in human form.

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The Holy Spirit, however, is presented in a very different manner. He is seemingly impalpable, much harder to comprehend than are the Father and the Son.

Hence some draw the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is only an impersonal power. As we have seen so far, that idea doesn’t really do justice to the nature of the Holy Spirit. In fact, there are statements in the Bible that would make no sense if the Holy Spirit were just an impersonal force or (divine) power.

Carefully read the following two passages and see if they make sense if you replace the reference to the Holy Spirit by the impersonal word “power.” Why do these texts make sense only if the Holy Spirit is, indeed, a Person?

Rom. 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

1 Cor. 2:4 “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:”

The statement of the apostles that “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 15:28, NASB) would be absurd if the Holy Spirit were only a power or an impersonal influence. The statement instead indicates another personal being, much as both the Father and Son are personal beings.

Furthermore, how can believers be baptized “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19, NASB), if the first two who are mentioned are Persons, but the third mentioned is not? That doesn’t make the best sense. Instead, all three are mentioned as being part of the same one name in whom we are baptized. Thus, the Holy Spirit is revealed here to be on the same level as God the Father and God the Son.

Ellen G. White has perceptively stated that “there are three living persons of the heavenly trio . . . the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” – Ellen G. White, Evangelism, p. 615. She, too, is very clear about the existent personality of the Holy Spirit.

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